A DISCOURSE ON SACRIFICE
The difference between donation and sacrifice is the outcome of the trade-off between or among relative values. I donate excess value the disappearance or lack of which will cause no harm to, or reduce, my sense of self-worth and/ or well-being; I donate when “I got more than I asked for, (and) there ain’t nothin’ I need…”
When I by conscious choice or otherwise give away all or part of what I have of material and/ or subjective value for what I consider to be of greater good than my ego considerations, I make a sacrifice.
I share when I am indifferent to personal gain or loss to the extent that that which I endeavour to give a part of, or parts thereof, to someone/ others, or a cause is such that its value neither diminishes nor grows when I have, and hang on to, it all by and for myself alone.
I donate, I share; and carry on with my life, living happily ever after. It is the application of sacrifice in practice which has been a major area of fascination in my youth and subsequent adult years.
We must have been in Form 4 (Grade 11) when one day in 1980 our then Chemistry teacher at Kamwala Secondary School, the ever affable Mr Mehta, brought an elderly visitor from India to our class. The latter gentleman not only came to greet us, but he gave us an inspirational talk about, if I recall, growing up, education, and leadership. I now understand that the man was a spiritual leader visiting some of his disciples in Zambia at that time.
I recall him emphasizing that we should take it for granted that we were all in the class going to be highly educated and influential in society as adults, filling up all key positions in all aspects of societal organization, as well as development. We were all going to be top doctors, engineers, scientists, business people, military generals, politicians, etc. And, given our potential future influence, owing to our apparent superior individual and collective brain power, we were all destined to be very, very wealthy; we would have the biggest houses, the flashiest cars, and the most beautiful families.
I have always been optimistic about a prosperous future full of all material trappings of financial success and power for myself. However, that day, I got this awesome mind picture of my classmates and I as having become the strongest and best ever rulers and power brokers of the world when grown up. The imagery was so intense and seemed so real that I to this day become hot and moist in my hands whenever I think about it.
I must have come to when I heard the Guru asked, “But what is all this education, wealth, power, and influence about then?” I imagine we were all so mesmerized by this man that no one in the class found the breath to say a word. He told us, I recall, that it was all about the responsibility to share with others who may not be as lucky and privileged as ourselves.
He went on to say that in essence we become educated, wealthy, and powerful in order to serve society, starting with our smaller family units and immediate communities. This is so, the man argued further that … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It”. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)
June 17, 2012
(Dedicated to my Karate students everywhere)